Editors’ tour of Colorado ends on a high in Breckenridge

11th February 2015, by Chris Gill

Breckenridge's iconic T-bar, the editors' favourite on Wednesday

Breckenridge's iconic T-bar, the editors' favourite on Wednesday

Tuesday morning brought a worthwhile snowfall to many Colorado resorts, and in the evening more snow was falling as we drove into Breckenridge, last stop on our short tour. With good weather forecast for Wednesday afternoon, our hopes were high.

Come Wednesday, we were not disappointed. By the time we finished breakfast at the base of Peak 8 and hooked up with our guide for the day, the early cloud was breaking. An hour later we were skiing under cloudless skies. More importantly, we were skiing on superb powdery groomed pistes – and in ankle-deep fresh powder when the chance arose.

We started on Peak 6, added to the resort’s terrain last season – 400 acres of new lift-served terrain, plus a smaller addition to the hike-to terrain that has long been part of Breck’s schtick. This is a very welcome expansion, with good blue glades and groomed trails, and a worthwhile high bowl that is less scary than its double-diamond rating suggests. The access lift is slow, but the lift serving the runs is a fast six-pack.

Then it was off to the high stuff at the top of Peak 8. I’ve visited Breck several times, and always found the top lifts (including North America’s highest) closed by the high winds that hit these exposed peaks. So I was delighted to find everything open.

We started by riding that super-high chair to 3915m, and traversing north to the great wide bowl of Whale’s Tail. Although this year Breck is leading in the Colorado snow stakes, this had some rocks protruding, but it was mainly a fabulous powdery slope, scarcely less enjoyable for being a bit chopped up.

Then we hit what was probably the highlight of a splendid day – the slightly lower gladed slopes accessed by Breck’s one T-bar. Again, we weren’t getting perfectly fresh tracks, but we were getting shin-deep Colorado powder between widely spaced trees, and it doesn’t come much better than that.

By early afternoon we recognised that we were having too much fun, so devoted the rest of the day to checking out the revamped Outlook restaurant on Peak 9 (decent food in the usual plain surroundings), the groomed blacks on Peak 10 (good fun – but a pity they have abandoned the helpful blue-black category) and the apres at T-Bar at the base of Peak 8 (deplorably narrow selection of beers on draft).

Tomorrow we head back to Heathrow, but we’ve just time to squeeze in a couple of hours at cult day-trip resort Arapahoe basin before setting off for Denver International. It’s been an excellent trip, involving three days skiing fresh snow. Just what you hope for when you cross the pond.

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